Ronnie O'Sullivan into Crucible semis after beating Stuart Bingham

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beat fellow Englishman Stuart Bingham 13-4 to move into the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship.

O'Sullivan, 7-1 ahead overnight, won the opening five frames of the second session and looked on course to claim a record Crucible quarter-final victory.

Bingham won the next three to force a final session, but O'Sullivan sealed victory by winning the first frame.

O'Sullivan will next meet Judd Trump, who beat Shaun Murphy 13-12 in an epic.

Meanwhile, Barry Hawkins beat Ding Junhui 13-7 in another quarter-final to reach the last four at the Crucible for the first time.

He will meet England's Ricky Walden, who defeated Wales' Michael White 13-6.

Four-time world champion O'Sullivan, playing in his first major tournament after taking time away from the sport following last year's victory, had a great chance to make some Crucible history.

No player had won a quarter-final by a 13-1 margin and O'Sullivan, 37, was on course to do so until Bingham claimed the sixth frame of Monday's morning session.

Having made only one break of more than 50 in the first four frames, O'Sullivan rattled in a 104 to put himself within touching distance of victory.

In the 16th frame - the last of the session - 'The Rocket' had a great opportunity to finish the match with a session to spare, but missed a black when 39 points clear.

World number eight Bingham, who had looked far from his best earlier in the session, duly took full advantage to reduce the deficit to 12-4 and retain a glimmer of hope.

But O'Sullivan was not in a mood to hang about, and he quickly sealed a victory which ensures an enticing last-four tie against Trump.

"There's only a certain amount of players who have got the self-belief to beat Ronnie and scare him," said Trump, 23, "and I think I'm one of them.

"I've got a good record against Ronnie. I've beaten him more times than he's beaten me so hopefully I can go out and scare him."

Essex's O'Sullivan responded by saying that Bristolian Trump should be the scared one.

"I think I've earned that reputation," said O'Sullivan. "I've played him a few times and sensed he's wobbled.

"It's a hard place out there. If you play well enough to stay with him, and peg him back, he's not Stephen Hendry or John Higgins."

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